Kevin Jackson (writer)

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Kevin Jackson by Marzena Pogorzaly

Kevin Jackson
Born(1955-01-03)3 January 1955
London, England
Died10 May 2021(2021-05-10) (aged 66)
GenreCriticism, biography, cultural history
Notable worksThe Language of Cinema (1998)
Humphrey Jennings (2004)
Withnail & I (BFI Modern Classics) (2008)
Invisible Forms: A Guide to Literary Curiosities (2000)

Kevin Jackson (3 January 1955 – 10 May 2021) was an English writer, broadcaster, filmmaker and pataphysician.

He was educated at the Emanuel School,[1] Battersea, and Pembroke College, Cambridge. After teaching in the English Department of Vanderbilt University, Nashville, he joined the BBC, first as a producer in radio and then as a director of short documentaries for television. In 1987 he was recruited to the Arts pages of The Independent.[2] He has been a freelance writer since the early 1990s[3] and was a regular contributor to BBC radio programmes,[4] including Radio 4's Saturday Review.[5]

Jackson often collaborated on projects in various media: with, among others, the film-maker Kevin Macdonald, with whom he co-produced a Channel 4 documentary on Humphrey Jennings, The Man Who Listened to Britain (2000); with the cartoonist Hunt Emerson, on comic strips about the history of Western occultism for Fortean Times, on two comics inspired by John Ruskin (published by the Ruskin Foundation)[6] and on a book-length version of Dante's Inferno (Knockabout Books, 2012); with the musician and composer Colin Minchin (lyrics for various songs, and the rock opera Bite, first staged in West London, October 2011); and with the songwriter Peter Blegvad (short surreal plays for BBC Radio 3eartoons). Jackson also conducted a long biographical interview with Blegvad, published by Atlas Press in September 2011 as The Bleaching Stream.[7] Jackson appears, under his own name, as a semi-fictional character in Iain Sinclair's account of a pedestrian journey around the M25, London Orbital.[8] Worple Press published Jackson's book of interviews with Sinclair, The Verbals in 2002.[9]

He was among the founder members of the London Institute of 'Pataphysics,[10] and held the Ordre de la Grande Gidouille from the College de Pataphysique in Paris. He was also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and a Companion of the Guild of St George. From 2009–2011 he was Visiting Professor in English at University College, London.

Jackson died on 10 May 2021 at the age of 66.[11]

Select bibliography[edit]

As author[edit]

  • The Language of Cinema, published by Routledge Press 1998 (ISBN 978-1857542325)
  • Invisible Forms: A Guide to Literary Curiosities, published by St Martin's Press 2000 (ISBN 978-0330371155)
  • Building the Great Pyramid, Published by Firefly Books 2003 (ISBN 978-1552977217)
  • Letters of Introduction, Published by Carcanet Press Ltd 2004 (ISBN 978-1857546552)
  • Humphrey Jennings, Published by Picador Press 2004 (ISBN 978-0330354387)
  • A Ruskin Alphabet, Published by Worple Press 2000 (ISBN 978-0953094721)
  • Withnail & I (BFI Modern Classics), 2008 (ISBN 978-1844570355)
  • Lawrence of Arabia (BFI Modern Classics), 2007 (ISBN 978-1844571789)
  • Fast, 2006 (ISBN 978-1846270291)
  • Moose, Published by Reaktion Books 2009 (ISBN 978-1861893963)
  • Bite: A Vampire Handbook, Published by Portobello Books Ltd 2010 (ISBN 978-1846272110)
  • The Pataphysical Flook, 2007 (ISBN 1-900565-33-1)
  • The Worlds of John Ruskin, Published by Pallas Athene Arts 2009 (ISBN 978-1843680444)
  • Chronicles of Old London, Published by Museyon Guides 2012 (ISBN 978-0984633432)
  • Constellation of Genius, Published by Hutchinson Press 2012 (ISBN 978-0091930974)
  • Nosferatu (1922): eine Symphonie des Grauens (BFI Film Classics), published by British Film Institute 2013 (ISBN 978-1844576500)
  • Carnal, published by Pallas Athene Arts 2015 (ISBN 978-1843681113)
  • Mayflower: The Voyage from Hell published by TSB | Can of Worms, 2020 (ISBN 9781916190870[12])
  • Darwin’s Odyssey: The Voyage of the Beagle published by TSB | Can of Worms, 2020 (ISBN 9781916190887[13])
  • The Queen’s Pirate: Sir Francis Drake and the Golden Hind published by TSB | Can of Worms, 2019 (ISBN 9781916190894[14])
  • Nelson’s Victory: Trafalgar and Tragedy published by TSB | Can of Worms, 2021 (ISBN 9781911673064[15])

As editor[edit]

As co-editor[edit]

  • Pataphysics: Definitions and Citations. (with Alastair Brotchie, Stanley Chapman and Thieri Foulc), 2003 (ISBN 1-900565-08-0)



  • Bite: Diary of a Vampire Housewife, 2009
  • Bite: Pavane for a Vampire Queen, 2011
  • No More a-Roving (Vampire Mix), 2011
  • Exquisite Corpse (from the novel by Robert Irwin), 2011
  • The Last of the Vostyachs (from the novel by Diego Marani), 2012
  • Constellation of Genius, 2012
  • Dracbeth, 2014
  • Carnal to the Point of Scandal, 2015


  1. ^ List of Old Emanuels#Literature
  2. ^ "Carcanet Press Author Biography". Retrieved 10 October 2012.
  3. ^ Sinclair, Iain. London Orbital. pp. 204–205.
  4. ^ "TV & Radio Sites". BBC. Retrieved 10 October 2012.
  5. ^ "Saturday Review Programmes". Retrieved 10 October 2012.
  6. ^ "Comic book highlights Ruskinian views". The Independent. London. 29 November 2005.
  7. ^ "The Journal of the London Institute of 'Pataphysics". Retrieved 10 October 2012. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  8. ^ Nicholas Lezard (21 September 2002). "Meandering round the M25". The Guardian.
  9. ^ "The Verbals: Iain Sinclair in conversation with Kevin Jackson". Retrieved 10 October 2012.
  10. ^ Interview with Kevin Jackson at Ready, Steady, Book
  11. ^ Kevin Jackson and Modernism
  12. ^ Jackson, Kevin (2020). Mayflower : the voyage from hell. London. ISBN 1-9161908-7-1. OCLC 1235904484.
  13. ^ Kevin, Jackson (2020). Darwin’s Odyssey: The Voyage of the Beagle. Can of Worms. ISBN 9781916190887.
  14. ^ Kevin, Jackson (2020). The Queen’s Pirate: Sir Francis Drake and the Golden Hind. Can of Worms. ISBN 9781916190894.
  15. ^ Kevin, Jackson (2021). Nelson’s Victory: Trafalgar and Tragedy. Can of Worms. ISBN 9781911673064.


  • Self, Will (19 October 2012). "Constellation of Genius, 1922: Modernism Year One by Kevin Jackson – review". Guardian.
  • Laity, Paul (3 March 2005). "Humphrey Jennings". London Review of Books. 27 (5): 18–20.
  • Blincoe, Nicholas (11 April 2004). "Letters of Introduction". Daily Telegraph.
  • Mullan, John (11 April 2004). "Letters of Introduction". Guardian.
  • French, Philip (20 January 2008). "Lawrence of Arabia". Observer.
  • Carrier, Dan (28 January 2010). "The Worlds of John Ruskin". Camden New Journal.
  • O'Brien, Murray (22 February 2009). "Moose". Independent on Sunday.
  • Lacey, Josh (28 March 2009). "Moose". Guardian.
  • Preston, John (21 October 2009). "Bite". Spectator.
  • Hirst, Christopher (29 October 2009). "Bite". Independent.
  • Poole, Stephen (27 March 2004). "Bite". Guardian.
  • Biswell, Andrew (25 January 2003). "Bite". Guardian.

External links[edit]